A little light on the role of Occupation Lists and the Employment Permit system

Last week the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation published an update on the expiry of the quotas relating to Horticulture Workers, Dairy Farm Assistants, Meat Processing Operatives and Deboners (2 July 2020, link here:- https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Workplace-and-Skills/Employment-Permits/Latest-updates/). These occupations were added to the list of eligible occupations from mid-2016 onwards and were made subject to a quota of positions. This set me to thinking about the eligibility lists published and I thought that it would be a useful time to shed a little light on the use of Occupation Lists in the Employment Permit System.

The Employment Permit system serves to provide permits for jobs in the Irish economy where there are not enough qualified candidates in the Irish labour force. Ireland is part of the European Union, and under the free movement of people across the Union, all citizens of the EU are entitled to be considered for vacancies arising in Ireland without undue hinderance. Accordingly, vacancies should, in the first instance, be filled from the supply of candidates available across the European Union. This is called Community Preference and therefore the Employment Permit system allows for employers to fill vacancies that cannot be easily filled from within the EU. The Employment Permit system facilitates this option by making permits available for a series of occupations where a shortage in the Irish and European labour markets have been identified. 

Occupation Lists

The Employment Permit system is constructed around three occupation lists which are updated regularly, the first two are published on the Departments website (see below for links). The occupation lists are provided for on a legislative basis by Regulations published regularly by the Department. At time of writing the most recent regulations were published in January 2020 but are usually published twice yearly so we can expect the next set of Regulations to appear shortly. 

Critical Skills List

This list relates to specialist occupations, usually based around a third level qualification or further education and relates to areas that are considered vital to the expansion of the economy, usually the skills required are not manual skills. The areas covered by the Critical Skills List include (but are not limited to) Natural and Social Science Professionals; Engineering Professionals; ICT Professionals; Health Professionals and Health and Social Services Managers; Nursing and Midwifery Professionals; certain Teaching and Educational Professionals; Business, Research and Administrative Professionals; Architects, Town Planners and Surveyors; certain 2D/3D Design Occupations; some Sales, Marketing and related Associate Professionals.

The associated permit, the Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) is granted to highly skilled professionals who have a two-year contract on a minimum salary (currently c. €32,000 p.a.) and enables a successful applicant to relocated to Ireland with their family dependants.

Link:- https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Workplace-and-Skills/Employment-Permits/Employment-Permit-Eligibility/Highly-Skilled-Eligible-Occupations-List/

Ineligible Occupations List

The ineligible list relates to broad categories of employment and relates to manual and professional employment and the trades. Areas excluded from eligibility include (but are not limited to) the following: Managers in Hospitality and Leisure Services; Managers in Other Services; Therapy, Welfare and Housing and associated Professionals; Protective Service Occupations; Public Services and Other Associate Professionals; Administrative Occupations: Finance, Records and Sales; Office Managers and Supervisors Secretarial and Related Occupations; Agricultural and Related Trades; Agricultural and Related Trades; Vehicle Trades, Electrical and Electronic Trades and Supervisors; Construction and Building Trades and Building Finishing trades; Textiles, Garment and Printing Trades; Food Preparation and Hospitality Trades; Caring Personal Services; Leisure and Travel Services; Sales and Customer Service Occupations; Process Operatives; Plant and Machine Operatives, Transport, Cleaning and Security Services, and almost all work in private homes.

The ineligible list relates to almost all employment permit types but there are some notable exceptions such as Chefs and Physiotherapist associated with sports organisations, and certain categories of employment where languages are necessary.

Link:- https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Workplace-and-Skills/Employment-Permits/Employment-Permit-Eligibility/Ineligible-Categories-of-Employment/

Eligible list of Occupations

The third list of occupations can be worked out by a process of elimination – any occupation that does not appear on either of the other two lists is, in theory, eligible for an employment permit. This however is subject to conditions such as the advertising requirement and valid job offers of twelve months. 

More information can be found on the Department’s website at the following link:- https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Workplace-and-Skills/Employment-Permits/Employment-Permit-Eligibility/

I hope you found this short article useful. Next week, I’ll write a note on what to do when you need to effect a change to the Employment permit system and I’ll follow it up with a note on the Occupation Code system used by the Department in their permit system. Feel free to get in touch if you have any comment or questions.

All the best,